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PGY1

  • Layana Al-Halbouni

    Layana Al-Halbouni

    PGY1

    Layana grew up in Amman, Jordan and studied medicine at the University of Jordan. Just like almost any other middle eastern capital, Amman is home to a large refugee population and to many impoverished families. Throughout med school, she was fortunately able to work with and help these families in several ways, including organizing various events for the children. That is one of the many reasons her passion for pediatrics grew, along with her interest in public and global health. After completing a one-year internship back in Jordan, she moved briefly to Worcester before the match and gained some research experience at UMass and Indiana University. She is very excited to be back in Worcester and to further explore what it has to offer! In her free time, Layana enjoys playing the ukulele, reading, spending time with her pets (although she has both, she's more of a cat person), and some friendly competition in board games and escape rooms.

  • Jordan Alter

    Jordan Alter

    PGY1

    Jordan was born and raised in Avon, Connecticut, just outside of Hartford. After graduating from High School, Jordan attended Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where he swam on the swim team and earned a degree in Chemistry with a minor in Film. Jordan then ventured up north to Scranton (home of The Office) where he attended Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, receiving a Masters Degree in Biomedical Science and his MD. While at Geisinger, Jordan helped develop a SmartPhone App to encourage children to exercise and even taught spin classes at the local Jewish Community Center. Jordan loves working with kids, as he loves being a mentor and connecting with his patients of any age while feeling as though he can be himself and embrace his silly sense of humor. Outside of the hospital, Jordan loves to swim and cycle, watch movies, and root for the New York Mets (sorry Sox fans). He is so excited to be at UMASS!

  • Shenna Bannish

    Shenna Bannish

    PGY1

    Shenna spent most of her childhood in Western Massachusetts, and stayed in the area for college as well. She earned a degree in Public Health from UMass Amherst, where she was also a RA, intramural soccer player, and a big fan of coffee-shop studying. During her time at UMass, Shenna developed an interest in Global Health, and studied abroad in Madagascar and Ireland. Her parents moved to Harpswell, Maine while she was in college, and since then Shenna considers Maine home. She went to medical school nearby at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine, where she developed  interests in refugee/immigrant health and ethical global health travel. Shenna is beyond thrilled to be a UMass-er again. Outside of medicine, Shenna loves spending time with her big extended family (25+ first cousins), playing Catan with her parents, snuggling her Bernedoodle, Pepper, and doing just about any outdoor activity.

  • Benjamin Cook

    Benjamin Cook

    Med/Peds PGY1

    Born and raised in Andover, Massachusetts, Ben developed a great love of Boston sports and was often seen playing anything with a ball. He attended Colgate University where he discovered a love of the great outdoors, leading many backpacking and canoeing trips in the Adirondacks, and majored in Religious Studies. Before starting medical school, Ben bounced around a bit, leading backpacking trips for high schoolers, volunteering for a great non-profit Mil Milagros in Guatemala, having a brief stint as a barista, and skiing a lot. He attended UMass Medical School and has since fallen in love with Worcester, The Heart of the Commonwealth. During med school, Ben helped co-lead the Sidekicks and Wilderness Medicine electives, mentored pre-clinical med students and URiM pre-med student, and thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the UMass Med basketball team. He went into medical school knowing he wanted to work with kids, and developed a love of adults, particularly in hospice and palliative medicine. Thus, med/peds was the perfect choice for him! Ben doesn’t know exactly where his career will take him, but loves primary care, palliative medicine, being in the hospital, education, and has a dream of being a doctor at a summer camp. While not working, Ben can be found hiking, skiing, gardening, watching Boston sports, playing pick-up basketball, and enjoying any board or card game!

  • Feargal Donaghy

    Feargal Donaghy

    PGY1

    Feargal was born and raised in Dundalk, Ireland which is a small town right on the border with Northern Ireland. As an undergraduate, he studied Physiotherapy at University College Dublin and spent a year working in Geriatric Rehabilitation. He stayed in Dublin to study Medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland where he met Reshma. After a busy intern year in Ireland, it was a dream come true to couples match to Pediatrics at UMass. In his free time, Feargal enjoys playing soccer, watching Liverpool FC, drinking Guinness, slapping the bass and going on hikes.

  • Melinda Futran

    Melinda Futran

    PGY1

    Melinda was born and raised in Maryland. She attended the University of Delaware where she majored in Biological Sciences and minored in Medical Diagnostics. Following graduation, she moved to Massachusetts where she began her journey at UMass, spending two years as a lab manager in the Socolovsky Lab studying erythropoiesis. While she enjoyed benchwork, Melinda realized her true passion lay within medicine, and was overjoyed to have the opportunity to stay on board at UMass for medical school. Melinda always felt drawn to pediatrics and medical school confirmed that love and passion. Early on in her medical career, she joined PediShips, where she was able to volunteer as a companion for children on the inpatient ward. She is particularly interested in providing better care for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. During her clinical years, she helped to develop a learning guide for medical providers on how to better provide for this population. She also created a public health policy proposal for Medicaid coverage of early education resources for these children. Melinda is beyond excited to continue her journey at UMass for residency. In her free time, you can find Melinda dancing and singing to her favorite tunes, playing guitar, cooking, or curled up with a good book.

  • Martha Gowaski

    Martha Gowaski

    PGY1

    Martha grew up a little east of Worcester in Marlborough, MA with her two older brothers. Her favorite part of growing up was going to weekly Sunday dinners at her grandmother’s house to play with all of her younger cousins, sparking a love for working with children at a young age. She followed her older brother to Northeastern University in Boston to study biology. During her time at Northeastern, Martha volunteered at Boston Children’s Hospital and worked as a newborn hearing screener, solidifying her desire to become a pediatrician one day. After college, she worked as a research assistant at Dana Farber, and then journeyed west to Worcester for medical school at UMass. During her time at UMass, Martha fostered a passion for community-based primary care medicine and advocating for vulnerable patient populations. She is proud to continue learning from and serving the diverse patient population in Worcester as a pediatric resident here at UMass! Outside of the clinic, Martha enjoys cooking and eating delicious food, going for walks at the Wachusett Reservoir, and playing with her two adorable kittens, Lily and Mitsy.

  • Marie Hydro

    Marie Hydro

    PGY1

    Marie was born right here at UMass Memorial and grew up just down the road in Hudson, MA. Inspired by her family full of strong women in medicine, she knew from an early age that she wanted to pursue a career as a physician. She attended UConn (go Huskies!!) where she graduated with a major in Physiology and Neurobiology, as well as several intramural titles, most notably including innertube water polo all-star and 2015 Oozeball Champion. Prior to starting medical school, she spent a year working as a counselor for adolescents with severe psychiatric disorders at the Worcester Recovery Center. She remained in Worcester to attend medical school at UMass where her long-standing love of pediatric medicine was solidified. When she wasn’t on the sand courts playing ridiculously long and overly competitive games of volleyball with her classmates, she could be found working to improve resources for patients in the UMass Adolescent Weight Clinic, cuddling babies in the NICU, and volunteering on the pediatric floor. She is so excited to continue her training in pediatrics at UMass, where she hopes to further explore her interests in critical care, and is honored to be a member of the next generation of “UMass lifers”. Outside of medicine, Marie is an amateur vegetable gardener and avid backyard bird watcher who enjoys baking everything and anything from her Great British Bake Show cookbook, as well as exploring New England’s best hikes and breweries with her husband, Ben.

  • Matthew Neale

    Matthew Neale

    Med/Peds PGY1

    Matt grew up in Warwick, Rhode Island. He attended Northeastern University for his undergraduate education, where he majored in Biochemistry and obtained a minor in music recording. After college, Matt spent two years conducting neonatology research at Women & Infants Hospital, investigating the molecular mechanisms of invasive fungal infections in newborns. While passionate about research, Matt ultimately decided he wanted to make a more direct impact on patient care, which led him to pursue medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. After doing his core rotations in Medicine and Pediatrics, Matt couldn’t imagine giving up either patient population. He was particularly drawn to Med-Peds for its wide breadth of training, emphasis on academics, and overall versatility as a specialty. His prior experiences leave him interested in infectious disease and critical care, however he is excited to see how residency at UMass shapes his ultimate career goals. As time permits, Matt loves playing music (especially guitar), traveling, and exploring the food and drink scene all over the New England area.

  • Nicole Rodis

    Nicole Rodis

    Med/Peds PGY1

    Nicole grew up in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, before moving to Boston to attend Northeastern University. Initially undecided about a major, she eventually pursued a degree in Behavioral Neuroscience to combine two of her interests—psychology and biology—a theme that has frequently come up in her life! While at Northeastern, she found an interest in global health after spending time in both Spain and South Africa. She also continued to dance in college through one of Northeastern’s hip hop teams and the Filipino student club. After graduating, she worked as a clinical research coordinator in Brigham and Women’s Endocrinology Department, before starting medical school at Penn State. While at Penn State, she was involved in the Global Health Scholars Program where she traveled to rural Australia to focus on indigenous health until interrupted by COVID. It was at Penn State where Nicole was first inspired by the incredible Med-Peds residents and attendings and the seemingly infinite career paths afforded to Med-Peds physicians. She is unsure (but excited!) where this residency will take her, and has gone back and forth on various subspecialties or some combination of hospitalist and clinic work. In her free time, Nicole enjoys dancing, cooking, eating, attempting latte art, traveling (whenever possible), anything that involves the show “Friends,” facetiming her niece and nephew, and spending as much time with her fiancé, friends, and family as possible!

  • Reshma Sabnani

    Reshma Sabnani

    PGY1

    Reshma was born in Puerto Rico, but raised in St. Kitts, a sunny Island in the Caribbean. Having attended high school in chilly Toronto she decided to move to Santa Barbara for her undergraduate education at UCSB where she studied Cell and Developmental Biology. After completing her undergraduate education, she was a research associate at UCLA Harbor Med, for a short time, where she worked on measuring PDAs for occlusion devices. Reshma’s love of travel and education brought her to the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland next, where she studied medicine and furthered her passion for pediatrics. After completing her internship in Ireland she decided to move abroad (yet again) and is thrilled to be joining the UMass family after couples matching with Feargal! In her spare time you can find her exploring local restaurants and pubs, enjoying a cup of tea, cooking or baking, adventuring in the outdoors, listening to live music and spending time with her friends and family.

  • Brielle Tishler

    Brielle Tishler

    Med/Peds PGY1

    Brielle grew up on Cape Cod, in the towns of Harwich and Brewster. She attended Northeastern University in Boston, MA and graduated with a major in Behavioral Neuroscience and minor in Communication Studies. While at NU she completed a co-op as a photojournalist in Valparaíso, Chile and studied abroad in Australia. After graduating, Brielle worked at Boston Children’s Hospital as a research assistant in the Department of Cardiac Surgery. Brielle completed her medical school training at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where she was the co-president of the Peer Mentoring Program. As a ballet teacher in high school, Brielle realized her passion for working with children and entered medical school with a focus on pediatric care. Surprisingly, her 3rd year clinical rotation in adult ambulatory medicine demonstrated she felt just as much joy while working with adult patients! Around this time, she heard about the field of med-peds and knew right away that it would be the perfect fit. Spending a month at the med-peds clinic was the highlight of her medical school experience. Brielle is passionate about preventative medicine, primary care, and the impact of presence in medical care. Outside of medicine, Brielle enjoys studying traditional Hawaiian hula, traveling, anything food related, game nights with friends, and spending time with her fiancé Ryan and puppy Kai.